Article

Geoff Galat
Geoff Galat 13 September 2018

How the “mobile mindset” is reshaping the customer experience

Anticipating what consumers want and when they want it has become a vital part of marketing simply because of the difficulty brands have standing out. Which means we’ve entered the era of individualized customer experiences, with the power lying in personalized content that speaks directly to the consumer.

According to a recent report by McKinsey, tailored content can reduce acquisition costs by as much as 50%, boost revenues by up to 15% and increase the efficiency of marketing spend by 10 to 30%. From a consumer perspective, a survey by eMarketer found that 50% will spend more money with a brand that personalizes their experience.

The struggle to personalize

Despite the importance placed on personalization, it remains one of the most vexing and challenging barriers for brands and marketers alike. The issues include the crafting of a consistent experience across omnichannel (mobile sites, social media and apps) and integrating technology, data and content into a singular customer viewpoint.

These challenges have been highlighted in Experian’s soon-to-be-released 2018 Digital Marketer Report. The survey behind the report found that 26% of respondents wanted to be able to tailor personalization more accurately and consistently. To put that in to perspective, by way of comparison, considerably more marketers chose this answer than those who chose a ‘doubled marketing budget’.

To deliver the level of personalization that consumers demand, marketers are realizing that there’s simply no substitute to getting to know your customers. Of those surveyed by Experian, 51% said that deepening their knowledge of consumer needs, attitudes and motivations constituted a ‘top three priority’ — making it the survey’s most selected option. What we can conclude from this finding is that brands can see there’s real value in gaining an insight into the customer mindset.

Smartphones shape behaviors

But behavior isn’t just confined to needs, attitudes and motivations. What’s really stunting the personalization efforts of marketers is a lack of appreciation for how customer mindsets and behaviors differ depending on the device and channel in use. Behaviors that have developed as a result of the rapid rise of smartphones.

Smartphones dominate the e-commerce landscape and they’ve created a different type of consumer. This is reflected in the forecasts for global mobile ecommerce revenues, which are predicted to rise to $669 billion this year (up from $184 billion in 2014). In real terms, this means that over a third of all global online purchases will soon be made through a mobile device.

It’s vital therefore that marketers start to consider consumer behavior, content and experience through the lens of the smartphone. This is the height of personalization in the digital age, because the consumer cognitive mindset and subsequent behavior on smartphones is distinctly different from its desktop or laptop counterparts. This mindset affects the type of content and overall experience consumers want to engage with — all of which affects purchasing decisions.

Understanding the mobile mindset

This cognitive change was the main conclusion from Clicktale’s research with The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. The study explored the psychology that underpins smartphone use, for the purposes of informing marketers as to its impact on consumer behavior. Our research analyzed the mobile taps, scrolls, zooms and user profiles of more than a million consumers, giving brands intelligent insights into consumer mindset.

When consumers open their smartphones, they enter a cognitive “safe zone” — a relaxed mindset in which they prioritize content by relevance, speed and convenience. It’s an escapist mentality. The key factor here is relevance, and personalization (as I mentioned previously) is essential to making a brand relevant. Mobile users place even greater importance on personalization than users of other devices.

In fact, it’s so important that almost a third of respondents (31%) stated that they’d be willing to pay more for a product or service if the mobile shopping experience is efficient. And 43% said they would pay more for items from brands that provide a five-star shopping experience. Mobile users are even willing to spend on shipping fees, more so than desktop users.

Brands, therefore, need to understand how consumer mindset affects behavior across different channels and devices. In my opinion, the lack of consideration for the impact of each individual device is one of the biggest reasons why marketers continue to struggle with effective personalization. What the research shows is that brands need to enhance their digital experience by tailoring content for each individual device.

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